Misadventures in Tandem Nursing

It seemed like a good idea, not weaning during pregnancy, but any thought that tandem nursing might bring serene acceptance of a new sibling are being challenged quite forcefully by a very disrupted DD. When the newborn wriggles in my lap, accidentally brushing her arm or face, she flinches and tries to push him away. It’s sad that what was meant to be my way of showing her that mummy is still here has become a battle ground. It’s three weeks today since this stretch of the journey began and it makes me sad to see her so conflicted, so distressed, about my new role as mother to both her and her little brother. It’s also taking its toll on me as we’re well into newborn growth spurt territory, so keeping up with the demands of the newborn, which are non- negotiable, mean I’m finding it hard to be patient with the demands of an irate toddler.

I really hoped it wouldn’t be this way but it seems I’m going to have to start imposing limits, as hard as that may be on both of us. Luckily there’s a La Leche League meeting on Monday, so I will get myself over there and see whether they can advise. I’m way out of my depth and DD is very strong-willed, so any limit is unlikely to be accepted without a battle, and I’ll definitely need some support. I’ll report back.

One of the biggest emotional hurdles is finding others with experience of tandem nursing as it’s definitely “out there” as far as normal goes, so I’d love to hear about other experiences of tandem nursing. Did you try it, plan to, quit, make it through the other side of these first few challenging weeks? How did your older child cope? Will there ever be a new normal or is all going to be crazy for ever more?? 

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2 thoughts on “Misadventures in Tandem Nursing

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  1. Obviously the experience is different for everyone, but I think you’ll find it settles down. Our first 2 months of tandem were really hard, with DD1 trying to pull newborn off my breast, but after that she got more used to sharing and even started to help little one latch on! Now DD1 is 4 and pretty much self-weaned and DD2 is 14months it’s the younger one who gets jealous if her sister goes anywhere near my boobs! In the early stages I found it helped to make special times to nurse each child separately, as having both on at once didn’t work too well for us (though we did have a few really precious hand-holding moments) but again it’s different for everyone. Good luck x

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    1. Thanks for your comment. It’s good to hear from another Tandem Nursing Mama who’s made it to the other side 🙂 We’re into week 5 now and it sounds like our experience is not too disimilar to yours. The limit setting and emphasising special times when it’s just the two of us is helping and the rest of the time I’m trying to be more on the case with snacks, drinks and distractions, which works well unless she’s tired/upset. Also I think I underestimated how poorly she’s been and now she’s virus free for probably the first time in a couple of months things are starting to settle down and she’s eating more again. I hear you on the two at a time thing. We’ve had some hand holding but mostly it’s just fidgeting and “I don’t want him to touch me” whinging from DD. One at a time is way more enjoyable.

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